Friday, April 30, 2010
Right now our small group is split up to a men's/women's book study & the ladies are reading "The New Eve" by Robert Lewis. The most recent chapters have discussed the various seasons of life & how God calls us to certain tasks during these times. Sometimes we try to push back & do things completely out of order & that again just causes chaos. God has a plan for us & while he certainly has the ability to alter our lives to fit the choices we make, He also has a perfect plan for us that will be so fulfilling & wonderful if we'll just follow close to Him.
One of the biggest things I've taken from the study so far is a need for a vision in my life. Have you ever actually sat down & thought about what you want your life to be or look like? Sure, I have some general long term goals & even some specifics but do you know what kind of daughter of the Living God you want to be? Do you even know what that looks like or how to get there? As we've been talking, it's been very obvious that none of us can truly define what it is to be a godly woman. Ok, Proverbs 31...but how do we achieve that in today's world, with today's pressures?
It's through those seasons, those times when I don't know exactly which way to turn or when I don't know just what's up ahead that God is preparing me to be the woman he wants me to be. I've begun to write out how I want my life to be, but it's such a process full of prayer. I want to be the wife, daughter, friend, child of God, & eventually mother that He designed me to be. While I don't know what that looks like just yet I know that it's through the seasons of life, the ups & downs, the unknowns & the chaos that my purpose in this world will ultimately be revealed. If only I can hold on tight & trust in God to help me land right where he wants me to be.
Wow, this was full of random thoughts that as I'm reading through make basically no sense, but it's here for me so in those times of turmoil & uncertainty I can come back & know that it's just a season of life.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Work has been crazy this week & I hate to say it but I think I'm finally started to get caught up. We've got a busy weekend ahead, but tons of fun stuff going on!
Monday, April 26, 2010
I was so thankful for a weekend away to fellowship & have a break!
Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cook Time: 40 Minutes
3 cans Buttermilk Biscuits (the Non-flaky Ones)
1 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons (to 3 Teaspoons) Cinnamon
2 sticks Butter
½ cups Brown Sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Open up all three cans of biscuits and cut each biscuit into quarters.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Myself & Andrea actually started off our girls' weekend early last night with a spa party that was hosted by a mutual friend. I'm so ready for a refreshing, relaxing weekend filled with lots of girl talk! Have a mentioned (probably only a few hundred times) how blessed I am to have so many wonderful women of God in my life?!?
Thursday, April 22, 2010
eating lots of food while enjoying views like this one...
and capping off our days while watching the beautiful sunset...
In the hopes of not being completely lazy for 8 full days, we'll take a quick day trip to try this...
and end up landing like this!
We also have plans to day trip to Isla Mujeres (or the Island of Women as Hubby likes to remind me) where we'll just enjoy a different area all while driving around in our own rented golf cart. I also believe Hubby has definite plans of fitting in at least one round of golf which means I'll be headed to the spa at least one time as well! We're both so ready for a vacation...it can't get here soon enough!
*first 3 photos courtesy of Trip Advisor contributors; zipline photos courtesy of www.xplor.travel
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
This was a statement I made in my last post in regards to being a spectator of the 5k my hubby and many of my closest friends participated in. I've really never been one to give in to peer pressure & I've been working hard to care less & less what people think of me. However, as my body is not 20 years old anymore but 27 (as I was so lovingly reminded of by my primary care physician this week), I've realized my metabolism continues to slow down and walking 1.8 miles (the distance around our subdivision 3x) is probably not going to be sufficient for me to be in shape and/or tone my existing body.
Let's be clear, I'm certainly not unhappy with my overall weight...I'm unhappy with my inability to run for any continuous period of time without feeling winded & I'm unhappy with the little pieces of pudge that exist in all the wrong places. Sure, I can cover those up with my nice work clothes & no one knows the difference, but I do. And let's keep in mind that in exactly 30 days I'll be gracing the beaches of Mexico with my extremely pasty & less than in shape body sporting only a bikini. Obviously I realize that 30 days is a short period of time but a girl can dream right?
Anyways, with the end of the 5k brought the beginning of a new goal for me. Sure, it seems very small & extremely minor compared to all those people who are running 5ks for training runs or running consistently on the treadmill for 40-60 minutes at a time--but for me it's all about having a goal that achievable. So...my goal with Hubby's support is to be able to run a little over 1 mile at a fairly speedy pace, with NO walking. 2 laps around our subdivision is 1.2 miles and that's my goal--and then we'll see after that.
I've started out fairly slow with running the East/West roads each lap for now. We're still going a total of 1.8 miles but with quite a bit of running & 10-15 jumping jacks at each corner. Yup, we look like dorks but at each corner we stop & do jumping jacks for some extra cardio. We also finish up our nightly routine with about 10-15 minutes of abs...oh how I hate abs. Not as much as running, but ab workouts are torture!
I haven't set an official deadline to reach my goal, but for now I'm just hoping to reach it by the end of the summer...which Hubby says is easily attainable. For all you serious runners out there, I realize this is a ridiculously simple taks...but for this girl running anywhere except for to a shoe sale is unheard of. 5ks are still not in my grand plans, but running seems to be an easy & cheap way to exercise Bogey, spend time with Hubby & maybe even get a little bit better looking bod!
Oh and just for the record...I'm still not into running & I'm still more than content to watch.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Our small group was representing!
Pushing toward the finish line! Go Hubby Go!
Hubby & his first 5k medal! Way to go!
This is what happens when a yellow lab follows your every move as you cut the grass...you end up with a dog that has green feet!We were in a serious hurry to get the yard done as we had a family wedding to attend late in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day for a wedding & everything went off just perfectly, complete with a ring gag from the groom's attendants. My mom & I along with some other family members were in charge of the cake cutting & drinks. I was helping out with cake for the first time & let me tell you, it's definitely not the easiest job in the world. However, cake tastes the same whether it looks good on the plate or not so no worries! We stuck around to help with the cleanup after basically everyone had left. It never ceases to amaze me how much work a wedding can be & also how little help you can get at times when you don't specifically ask for it!
The Happy Couple...Josh & Callie Jo Maher!
The cake & beverage crew!
Can't forget to save the topper!
Hubby & I
Most all of the women on my dad's side of the family...minus just a few!
We finished up the evening with pizza & the 20-inning St. Louis Cards vs. Mets game! Seriously, a 20 inning game...that's just stupid!! The Cards ended up losing that one, but I can't hardly thinkg they minded after 6 hours & 53 minutes of baseball!Sunday brought more fun & events starting off with our morning church service. We're doing a series on prayer right now & it couldn't be more applicable to my prayer life...or lack of prayer life. After church we grabbed a quick lunch, ran to Lowe's from some extra supplies & got busy in the backyard. Hubby decided we would save the money from having the nursery plant the tree & he would do it himself. He did a fantastic job...the tree looks amazing! While he worked on the tree, I tried to keep Bogey out of the way & also put together a few planters for the deck. I just love planters that are overflowing with colorful flowers!
We've got the tree in the hole...now for some quick landscaping!
The finished project getting a good, long drink!
One of the planters on the right & our new patio furniture. We're still waiting on a couple of chairs & we still need to buy an umbrella but I love the wicker!
In typical fashion, we finished off the weekend with small group & a walk/run (this time) with Bogey. We still had plenty to do, but I finally made us sit down at 9:00 so we could catch up on Lost and at least have a few moments to catch our breath before starting a new week!
Silly dog...you look so innocent so why did you have to dig up all the mulch around our new tree while we were gone to small group?!? Unfortunately we weren't surprised!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Since the beginning of the year, Hubby has managed to earn his automatic 2 weeks of vacation plus an additional 16 days of comp time! Which means 26 whole days of vacation to use between now & the end of the year...it doesn't get much better than that! We've already got plenty of time off scheduled for vacation & other happenings, but it's so great that we both have incredibly great vacation time so we can take off together.
We're celebrating tonight by going to the Springfield Cardinals home opener (the double-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals). Hubby couldn't decide between a really nice dinner & the game, but the sports fanatic in him won out. I could care less either way, a night out with my Hubby is a night out with my Hubby! Also in honor of the deadline I got 2 great seats to a St. Louis Cardinals game on May 2nd...also the day before Hubby's 27th birthday. I tried so hard to keep it a surprise & it worked! He was absolutely thrilled.
Even with tax season over that doesn't mean we won't be busy and won't have other conflicts, but it's so great to know that for the most part Hubby will be leaving for work an hour later & coming home an hour earlier. We'll be finishing dinner & have the kitchen cleaned up at about the same time he has been getting home.
One of the great things about our relationship is that we truly, honestly LOVE spending time with each other. Even if it's just in that comfortable, relaxed silence while sitting on our deck enjoying our firepit--it's in those moments that I realize how wonderfully blessed we are & how life honestly couldn't be much better than it is right now.
Oh and for all your procrastinators out there...get your taxes postmarked...NOW!!!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Friday we made plans with our very best friends Derek & Andrea for a double date night. We had dinner at a local mexican restaurant...yum! And then what could make a double date night better than going to see "Date Night?" Hubby loves Steve Carrell & I think Tina Fey is just hilarious so it was great! It was short & definitely a little unrealistic but just a good, mostly clean movie that made us laugh for an hour and a half! We finished off the evening with Andy's Frozen Custard...if you're ever in the Springfield area you've got to try it! So unhealthy, but oh so good!
Saturday morning we both had to work, but had the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted! No plans on a Saturday...woohoo! We worked outside in the yard, I even helped Hubby mow a little in the back & I worked in a little time to lay out in the sun to get some color. Might have gotten just a little too much, but just a little red...no soreness. We cleaned up a bit & headed to a local nursery to go tree shopping. We've decided to put another tree in our yard, this time a decorative one & the options seem pretty endless. After going back & forth, I think we've finally made a decision and have plans to go pick it out & put it in the ground probably next weekend!
We finished up the Saturday with Hubby at the driving range while I sat on a blanket & read a book. Yes, I probably looked like a dork but I love that Hubby didn't mind me joining him. I think one of the best things is watching the person you love so much do something they are passionate about. Watching Hubby golf is honestly so much fun for me & plus it just means spending more time together! We grabbed pizza for dinner and took a great walk with Bogey to finish off the night.
Yesterday we had church where we're starting a new series on prayer. It's based on a small group study we did back in the fall & it's going to be so good to hear this all again. Prayer is something that is so hard to understand & comprehend at times so I just love hearing about how to make my prayers better & maybe even more effective.
After church we grabbed lunch, ran a few errands & then came home to enjoy the beautiful weather. I headed outside to our deck with a book & some sunscreen to catch a few more rays & Hubby did a few little projects around the yard. We also had small group & then came home to enjoy a victory at The Masters for Phil Mickelson & a great 2 mile walk with Bogey. Hubby decided we need to cap off the night with a nice fire in the firepit sitting on our new loveseat. Awww...now this is the life.
I didn't take any pictures this weekend except for the ones below. I spent an afternoon back in the fall planting a BUNCH of bulbs. Let me tell you, it was so worth it...I mean take a look at this color!
I have several that are still waiting to pop! I'll definitely be putting some more of these beauties in the ground next fall!
If you want some fabulous early Spring color, I highly recommend getting your hands dirty in the Fall & reaping some of the rewards!!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Yesterday during my nail appointment I had the perfect storm. One of my nails had split way down into the nailbed & my nail tech was trying to fix it with some extra acrylic...however, in order to do that she had to apply some primer which is probably 100% alcohol. It started to burn & I tried to fight through it, but within a few moments I was up out of the chair and headed to the small room that contains the pedicure chairs--the only place I knew I could even slightly recline. I knew I was going to pass out & wanted so badly to stop, but by that time there was nothing I could do. I remember a few things...asking the nail tech if the chair reclined & allowing her to apply some non-burn spray and the next thing I remember is being surrounded by about 6-7 women and hearing my name over & over....Lauren, Lauren honey wake up, Lauren, Lauren. As I came out of the deep fog, it hit me...I had actually passed out cold at the salon.
Yup, right about now I sound like the biggest wuss ever; however, like I said it was a perfect combination of issues. A vasovagal reaction always has a trigger & I think mine is pain--sharp, hurting pain. I was unable to grab lunch beforehand so I was hungry, & I was probably completely dehydrated because I'd had little to nothing to drink during the morning...combine those with a little bit of strong, burning pain, & it was a recipe for disaster. I have gone to the same hometown salon for probably 12-15 years so everyone there knows me & is practically like family. You can imagine how scared they were. And so was I.
Since I work for my dad, my parents were nearby but had gone to inspect some properties for the business over lunch and were about 30 minutes away. My mom, the SUPERMOM she is, was able to calm me down & give orders over the phone like nobody's business. One girl got a fan, another grabbed several cold towels, another grabbed a Reese's cup & a Sprite for some sugar intake, & she even sent one to Subway so I could get some real food on my stomach. Oh those girls are all my angels!!!
The biggest problem this time was that I hadn't eaten anything for about 4 1/2 hours so I had a really hard time recovering. To make a really long story short, my mom had another one of the girls' from our office come and pick me up because I was still in no shape to drive. Apparently I was still completely pale when I got back to our office & I simply curled up with a pillow & blanket & went to sleep. Once my parents got back from their business errands, Mom took me home & I was able to sleep the rest of it off.
Once I woke up I actually felt 100% better, just a little tired from all that my body had gone through. My mom called my doctor and had a conversation with her, with the end result being that it sounded like my typical reaction & if I was feeling better today that everything was probably fine. Well, I am & we were still able to make it to see Hubby's mom for dinner.
Today I'm feeling great, but just wish my fingernails weren't half done...I'm going back tomorrow to have them finished. Don't worry, she won't have to apply the stuff that made it burn again (wow, don't I sound childish?!?) I did managed to get my toes painted as well...Mom told her to do anything to take my mind off things & I ended up with cute toes.
(Oh and for those who are thinking it...I'm almost 100% positive I'm not pregnant!-just a girl who has a weird reaction to pain!)
The End...and feel free to laugh a little cause I am, it's funny now Mom!!!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Hubby & I are certainly in a time of waiting to see what God is going to do in our lives. I'm excited & anxious & scared but I know that no matter what the outcome God's love will prevail.
Waiting is such a difficult thing to grasp when we live in a society filled with the idea of instant gratification & immediate answers for almost any question we have. However, in my life I have experienced that it's in those times when we are still & we wait that God will show us just how powerful He is & how much He loves us. We also have to remember that during the times of waiting we aren't to be idle & useless--we are to worship & serve & love just as Jesus did. I have to believe that many times it's through the acts of worship or serving that God fully reveals himself to us & will give us all the answers we ever need.
(I can't get the video to upload so click here to enjoy!)
Monday, April 5, 2010
Good Friday ended with a rainy evening, but just your typical spring rain. I had Friday afternoon off work and spent the majority of the afternoon cleaning our house from the dirt, dog hair & other filth that had accumlated over the winter when we would bring Bogey in for visits. It was definitely a great feeling to have everything looking so clean...if only it would stay that way. We originally had plans to cook dinner in, but after my hardwork I wasn't about to mess up my kitchen again--we headed to McAlister's instead for a yummy dinner. The rainy evening gave Hubby & I plenty of time to relax and catch up on our tv watching from the week. Once springtime hits, we get behind quite often since we spend so much time outside & seem to have so many other plans.
Saturday managed to be a gorgeous, but very busy day. It started off with a bridal shower for my cousin who's getting married on April 17. I of course failed to grab my camera so no photos of all her goodies & all the family in attendance. After the shower my mom & I had lunch with my dad & brother. It was so great to have a lunch with just the four of us...that rarely happens anymore now that we're both married. Don't get me wrong, it's great to have our spouses along with us but it just takes me back to our childhood when it's just four of us sitting around a table having a meal.
After lunch I headed home to change & help Hubby with some yardwork. The grass really came in last week and was super thick. I just love how great Hubby makes our yard look--there's just something about a freshly cut yard that makes everything feel so much better! We rushed around finishing up the yard, changed again, & headed to my parents' house for the annual Easter gathering. My parents' have always been the host for this celebration & we had a great turn out. This year we tried having it on Saturday evening to accomodate for everyone, but no matter when you plan it there are always conflicts so I think we'll be going back to Easter afternoon next year. We still managed to have great food (traditional BBQ), fun, & of course the traditional egg toss--always a big hit--especially for those that end up having their hands covered in raw egg.
Friday, April 2, 2010
I hope I never lose sight of what happened on this day & how much God must love me in order to allow His one and only son to be crucified on the cross. While there is sorrow surrounding the happenings of today, there is jubiliation in the glorious happenings of Easter morning when Christ arose. Hallelujah Christ is Risen!
Some of my favorite traditional hymns center around Christs' resurrection & the victory we can find when we seek our Savior, Jesus Christ. I get chills everytime I sing this song.